My Cheating Heart

What you do behind closed doors is your business, what I do is mine

Photograph by Getty Images

I am a happily married man.

I love my wife and love having sex.

I love having sex with my wife.

And also with women who are not my wife.

I know how that sounds, and I'm not writing this to recommend or defend what I do. What you do behind closed doors is your business, what I do is mine. I can't stop you from judging me. The only thing I can do is tell my story.

For as long as I can remember, I've just never felt the guilt that usually accompanies being intimate with someone who is not your significant other. And I also never feel guilty wanting that person to provide the variety I like and have come to need. There are other guys who self-destruct, who succumb to the urge to tell someone, or plain feel miserable about it afterwards.

Not me. My stance is that you can love your wife, care for your family and still have guiltless sex with other women. I'm not a sociopath, although I've always been a bit compulsive. I think I may be a sex addict, although I'm not really sure what that means. I am sure about one thing: I absolutely love women and crave them beyond all reason. I hunger for them. I burn for them. I must have them, and I'd do almost anything to be with them.

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But I'd never, EVER do anything to hurt my wife. And I realize how that sounds and that many of you will disagree. In fact, I've done everything in my power to shield her from my dalliances. I never share my private affairs with anyone and take every precaution to avoid detection. We've been together for more than 25 years and she means the world to me. I'm not unhappy or frustrated with our sex life, and the last thing I'd ever want is to blow up our marriage.

I just need more than she can give.

We live in the well-manicured suburbs of Long Island, where this kind of behavior has been going on since the cavemen first moved into Levittown. Despite this (to say nothing of every other John Updike novel), I know that the great majority of you still find my attitude repellent.

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"But what about the risk?" I hear you ask. "What would happen if your wife ever found out? And how would you feel if she was cheating on you?" The short answer is: You can't do what I do if you worry about things that may or may not happen.

Think about someone you've always wanted to sleep with. Think about their neck, their lips, their legs, whatever most turns you on. Think about how she or he makes you pulse with excitement. Think about the crazy thrill of pursuing your erotic dream. Think about how you can't think of anything else.

This is how I feel when I wake up every morning, fantasizing about having sex with a stranger I met online, a neighbor, or sometimes even my kid's friends' moms. It's not very difficult.

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I'll be on the soccer field on Saturday morning watching my son play, while simultaneously scouting for one of the moms, who's usually there by herself. I'll slowly make my way over to her with a big, warm smile on my face and it all seems perfectly innocent, although I know better. And so does she.

Maybe she's unhappy, unfulfilled, vindictive, bored — whatever her story is, it doesn't matter. The one thing these women have in common is that they're hungry for a man's attention. We begin to chat and I can usually make her laugh, and after a few minutes, I may inadvertently touch her hand or shoulder, and it's in that instant when I know if we'll be together in the very near future.

After we're both completely spent and satisfied, I tell them where my head is at. That I will never fall in love with them, that I will never leave my wife, that my family life is off-limits, and that for this to continue, our affair will be about one thing and one thing only — scratching each other's itch.

We meet at cheap hotels right off the expressway, in the back of each other's cars, more than once in the bathroom of a restaurant a few towns over from where I live. We satisfy each other, again and again and again. And it's generally been some kind of wonderful.

Until it's not.

"It's not" rears its ugly head when they want something that I cannot give — they want more. It happens frequently and I can always see it coming. They suggest going away to the Hamptons or Montauk for a long weekend and get this hopeful glimmer in their eyes that says, "I know who you are, but I can change you! I can make you mine!"

I was tempted only once. Julie (not her real name, as David Green is not mine) was 10 years younger than me, drop-dead beautiful and was separated from her husband, some schlub who worked on Wall Street. We had met at a concession stand at one of my son's travel basketball games, and one thing led to another, which then led to off-the-charts, mind-blowing sex. It was like we were plugged into an electrical socket. We went at it for three solid months. Then one day, she called and said that she was reconciling with her schlub husband and that we were done.

I remember coming home that evening and being greeted by my wife, who asked the question that all married couples ask each other most every night: "How was your day?"

"Fine," I answered. "How was yours?"

Tags: sex